Title: Navier-Stokes-based predictions of the aerodynamic behaviour of stall regulated wind turbines using OpenFOAM

Authors: Hamid Rahimi; Wided Medjroubi; Bernhard Stoevesandt; Joachim Peinke

Addresses: Institute of Physics, ForWind, University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Herrstr. 136, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany ' Institute of Physics, ForWind, University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Herrstr. 136, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany ' Fraunhofer IWES, Ammerländer Heerstr. 136, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany ' Institute of Physics, ForWind, University of Oldenburg, Ammerländer Herrstr. 136, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany; Fraunhofer IWES, Ammerländer Heerstr. 136, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany

Abstract: It is a challenging task to simulate the turbulent and separated flow around a rotating twisted wind turbine blade. In this study, the open source CFD package OpenFOAM was used in order to investigate the aerodynamics of the NREL phase VI rotor by solving the three-dimensional Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations. During this study, steady-state simulations for multiple upwind configurations of the wind tunnel experiment were conducted. The results are then shown in comparison with those obtained by other researchers and also measurements. For the purpose of verification and validation, aerodynamic key parameters such as power, thrust and pressure distributions at different spanwise sections along the blade are used. Furthermore, the quality of the mesh was verified by using a grid independence test based on the grid convergence index and grid resolution test. The results for a constant pitch at varying wind speeds showed that the present simulations consistently and accurately predicted the experimental data.

Keywords: wind turbines; aerodynamics; OpenFoam; NREL phase VI rotors; computational fluid dynamics; CFD; stall regulation; wind energy; wind power; simulation; turbulent flow; separated flow; twisted turbine blades; Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes; RANS equations; power; thrust; pressure distribution; wind speeds.

DOI: 10.1504/PCFD.2016.080054

Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics, An International Journal, 2016 Vol.16 No.6, pp.339 - 355

Received: 10 Nov 2014
Accepted: 28 Mar 2015

Published online: 28 Oct 2016 *

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